Cody Thomas (SMBA ’15) started his internship at Xterra Wetsuits and Boards in San Diego during the summer months. Since he began, he has been earning valuable, on the job experience in marketing and business analytics for an international e-commerce company.
After speaking with many of the esteemed San Diego State University Sports MBA alumni, one of the biggest draws of the Sports MBA program to me is the amount of connections it has to many different career paths in the sports industry. Going into the program in January, I had a pretty good idea of what career path I wanted to pursue. Because of this, I was patient when trying to find the right internship for me. After some time in the program, the connections I made paid off and I was able to get an internship with Xterra Wetsuits and Boards, one of the top wetsuit brands in America.
I am a fan of being outdoors and being active. It was a priority for me to intern for a company that bases its products around being outside and involved in the action sports scene in Southern California. When I started my internship at Xterra I was given the responsibility of analyzing all email campaign data. This was great because I was able to come into a well-known brand and directly apply the skills I was learning in class to real world business situations. This internship was not an internship where you go in and help somebody build a PowerPoint deck, get some coffee for the office, sit around, and then go home; I was part of the email analytic department for a large e-commerce company. As the internship progressed I was able to gain more responsibility in many different areas in the marketing department. At first my additional responsibilities were primarily still business-focused roles such as product development planning and managing Google Analytics, but the responsibilities continued to grow.
Being led by Xterra’s Marketing Director, John Murn, I was able to develop my skills on the creative side of the marketing process as well. John came to Xterra after working for respected advertising agencies doing work for major brands such as McDonald’s, Asus, Yahoo!, and Heineken- so I knew coming into the internship that I would be able to learn a lot from him. I have been able to work on press releases, write product description profiles for media guides, control the social media, and even work on photo shoots for Xterra Wetsuit products.
This internship at Xterra has been a great experience. I have been able to grow professionally, while building my skillset in the product-marketing field by constantly pushing myself and taking on new responsibilities. My decision to join the Sports MBA program all started with a conversation I had with Steve Fuller (SMBA ‘14) about the program last year and that decision to join the program to pursue a career in sports business is reaffirmed by experiences at Xterra.